Early voting kicked off in Tennessee on Oct. 14 and will last until Oct. 29.

Early voting is a way for individuals to make it to the polls before Election Day on Nov. 3. With early voting, people can avoid large crowds, long lines, and assure that they make it to the polls in time.

In Tennessee, voters can also change their address at their polling locations
if needed.

Information about the location of your polling site during the early voting period can be found at the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website. In Montgomery County, early voting will take place at the Montgomery County Election Commission Office.

During the early voting period, Montgomery County residents can vote Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Voting is an action that is only able to take place due to civic engagement. Many members of the campus are involved and show why the process is important.

Emily Wilson, who is a sophomore in agriculture, is volunteering as a poll worker during the 2020 election period. Wilson also volunteered during the last election in 2016.

Even in the current world of polarized politics and a global pandemic, Wilson has found the experience to be valuable and unifying.

Wilson reflects on her volunteer experience as noting a “shared commitment to change our country for the better” among individuals showing up to the polls.

Eric Patton, a junior in political science, is also involved in Montgomery County politics. Patton is a community organizer and a campaign manager for a seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives in District 38. Patton also serves as the president of the College of Democrats.

Patton and Wilson are among the individuals who have also volunteered by waving signs at the polls.

To become a poll worker, one must be registered to vote and meet the requirements of their local election office. In order to wave signs outside of an election office, volunteers must adhere to the county rules for conduct at polling locations.

Wilson emphasizes that her efforts have been “a chance to form lifelong connections and friendships, support hard-working candidates, and most importantly… put real and effective actions behind your beliefs.”

Patton reiterated many of Wilson’s points.

“Vote for progress,” Patton said. “Don’t stop at the presidential ballot.”

Wilson and Patton’s past work in local politics will transpire to widespread community impacts.

If students want to get involved with volunteering at the polls, they can contact Wilson, Patton, or the College of Democrat’s faculty advisor, Dr. Linda Crenshaw.